Condom Ad Ban on TV row: Rajasthan HC asks Narendra Modi government to explain reason behind move

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New Delhi | Updated: December 20, 2017 4:23:41 PM

Earlier, the Centre had barred channels from airing Condom advertisements on TV from 6 am to 10 pm. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued an advisory in this regard.

Rajasthan High Court, Condom Ad, Condom Ad ban, Condom Advertisement, Condom Advertisement banned, I&B ministry, Information & Broadcasting Ministry condom adThe notice has been issued by the court while paying heed to a petition challenging the advisory issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting banning television ads for condoms during prime time hours.

A Rajasthan High Court division bench comprising Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Dinesh Chandra Somani has issued a notice to Centre asking why can’t the condom ads be telecast outside the currently affixed hours between 10 PM- 6 AM. The notice has been issued by the court while paying heed to a petition challenging the advisory issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting banning television ads for condoms during prime time hours. Reportedly, the petition has been filed by an NGO, Global Alliance for Human Rights, which has been working for the welfare of HIV positive patients since 2012. The petition contends that the advisory, which asserts such ads to be “indecent, especially for children”, is violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. It further adds that the time for broadcasting the advertisement between 10 pm to 6 am has been specified “without any reasonable explanation”, asserting that the same has neglected the present circumstances where usage of condoms still remains low in rural areas of the country.

Earlier, the Centre had barred channels from airing Condom advertisements on TV from 6 am to 10 pm. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued an advisory in this regard. “It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children,” an advisory from the ministry said. The advisory invoked Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, banning an “advertisement which endangers the safety of children or creates in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner.”

It said such advertisements may be telecast between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to avoid exposure of such material to children. “Any failure will attract action as per provisions of the rules,” said the advisory. The directive came after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) requested the ministry earlier this month to take a call on such ads and their telecast timing.

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